Isthmian League

Simpson | “We should go there confident”

Whitehawk journey into Kent on Saturday in search of further extending their grasp on the playoff positions with bottom-club Faversham Town standing in the way.

Back in the dugout is Assistant Manager Adam Simpson, reuniting with the side that at the time of his departure were breathing down the neck of the league leaders. And so, without further ado, here is the man himself, previewing tomorrow’s tasty affair:

So, Simmo, how are we feeling ahead of tomorrow’s venture across the county border? 

“Without getting carried away, because it’s easy to do that looking at the league table, you think it’s going to be a formality, we’re in a good place and we’re improving, but they’ve [Faversham Town] got good players right through their team. They seem to keep adding, adding players that have done well at this level or level above, so there’s clearly something missing there, which is why they’re losing the games that they are. We should go there confident, but by no means take it for granted.”

Playing a side in Faversham Town that are much changed since the reverse fixture…what do you expect from them?

“If he’s [Sammy Moore] got the right characters in there they’ll be fighting for their lives now. That should give them another 10% on top of it – they’re all working and fighting for each other and trying to keep that club in the division, and that’s a different beast altogether. They’re a threat and there’s a few things that we need to be careful of, but we’re in a good place, we’re improving; we’ve focused on ourselves a little bit more this week and hopefully we can get the right result.”

Tuesday’s stalemate felt like a blow to the ribs afterwards but, in truth, there’s still plenty left to play. How important is it to take things game by game?

“If you look at the table we’ve got two games in hand on the teams below us and there could be a healthy cushion if we keep getting the results we want. There’s a long way to go and saying ‘the season’s over’, that wouldn’t even enter my mind at this stage. We’ve got a lot ahead of us that we should be targeting, we’ve got teams above us that I think we can catch, and I think we should be optimistic for the second half of the season.”

How do you approach Saturday’s game, and indeed the remainder of the campaign?

“For me coming in and only seeing what I’ve seen, over the last sort of two/three weeks, I spoke to Shaun [Saunders] – I won’t mention it too much but there was something in-house that we had to deal with, I like to think that we’re turning a little bit of a corner on that, so that should make us believe in each other a little bit more and have a little more togetherness. Over the last couple of games I don’t think we’ve started very strongly, so that’s something that we need to look at as well.

I do think having a bit more of a structure, having tactical responsibilities within the team – I think that is definitely going to play a big part in the rest of the season. I don’t know how much of that was missing but we’d like to get that back looking how it was at the start of the season. By no means have we turned the corner, we’ve still got a lot to do, but I do think that we’re in a better, stronger place. We could have easily won that game the other night [against Ashford United], and I think everyone would be absolutely flying if we had!

I don’t really worry about what’s happened in the past – I can’t affect any of that when I wasn’t here. And now I am here I’ve got Shaun’s complete backing, we work together closely, we’re speaking a lot about what’s needed, we agree on everything – our relationship is strong. And I don’t see too many issues going forward; we’re in a good place to improve, where it takes us I can’t say. Tomorrow’s just another one of those games which comes with its difficulties, but we should be confident going there.”

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